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Disappointments aside, Sessions has been on a winning streak for Trump supporters

Greg Nash

For someone who, like me, was an early supporter of Donald Trump, and remains an ardent one, it could be argued that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly disappointed the president. Reports that the president humiliated him in an Oval Office meeting in February were not surprising considering the presidential tweets and public comments made expressing anger and frustration over the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself in the Russia investigation (and thus allowing the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.)

But it seems that Sessions weathered the storm and made some positive adjustments. There is likely more to this story, and those predicting a Sessions departure will surely be proven wrong. There are many successes Sessions has brought to the table already and surely more coming too. 

While it may seem Trump has it out for Sessions, and that his days leading the Department of Justice are numbered, the president respects loyalty. Even if he is angry with some of the decisions Sessions has made, Trump is still likely very fond of Sessions’ ideas and abilities and how he can benefit all Americans, by supporting the agenda Trump presented during the campaign.

{mosads}For his part, Sessions has reacted in a predictable way. His quiet, yet strong leadership is nothing new for those of us in Alabama who have witnessed his stellar performance directly for decades. Sessions, despite the public criticism, is (as the president sees him) indeed loyal. He is loyal to the United States and will continue to serve our country in an honorable manner.


There are two very specific examples demonstrating how Sessions and Trump are surely still on the same page when it comes to governing. The first, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is currently unfolding and the second, while not generating headlines yet, is how the DOJ will handle the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB.)

It was no accident that the administration looked to Jeff Sessions to make the DACA announcement. This reliance on the attorney general should be seen as a vote of confidence from the president. When Sessions delivered the DACA announcement, he stated, in part:

Under President Trump’s leadership, this administration has made great progress in the last few months toward establishing a lawful and constitutional immigration system. This makes us safer and more secure. It will further economically the lives of millions who are struggling. And it will enable our country to more effectively teach new immigrants about our system of government and assimilate them to the cultural understandings that support it. The substantial progress in reducing illegal immigration at our border seen in recent months is almost entirely the product of the leadership of President Trump.

These are hardly the words from someone feuding. While the ball is currently in Congress’ court, and the public narrative is evolving, the leadership and teamwork of Sessions and Trump are making America safer and more prosperous.

Next on the agenda is an Oct. 2 deadline for the DOJ to issue its opinion on the structure and constitutionality of the CFPB. This opinion is in response to a lawsuit filed by mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corporation (Ocwen), which is seeking to have the courts rule that the CFPB is indeed unconstitutional.

The issues proving unconstitutionality of the CFPB that Ocwen has raised are similar to those brought by another mortgage servicer, PHH Corp.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s John Berlau (who filed a much earlier CFPB challenge) described the CFPB’s overzealous and unconstitutional actions in writing, “the CFPB has gone after financial services companies PHH and Ocwen retroactively for actions the firms took years earlier, when both were under the jurisdiction of other agencies. In the PHH case in which the court found the CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, the court also ruled that the CFPB’s retroactive application of its new interpretation of the law, coupled with the massive fine, violated the Constitution’s guarantee of due process and flunked ‘Rule of Law, 101.'”

The new DOJ under Sessions’ leadership has signaled that it is unlikely to defend the CFPB in a drastic turn from what the previous Obama administration did. Without an ally at the DOJ, there is little the agency will be able to do to defend itself or its history of regulatory overreach.

Since its inception, the CFPB has forced many financial institutions to focus on defending its business, rather than serving its customers. In many cases, the regulator has forced changes that ultimately harm the very consumers the regulator was established to protect. It is no secret that Ocwen and PHH would rather be focused on its business. For its part, Ocwen has quite an established history of helping borrowers stay in their homes, making it that much more troubling that an unaccountable regulator can force the company to continue distracting and expensive litigation.

Despite having Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as a cheerleader-in-chief for the CFPB, its actions and history of abuses against Ocwen, PHH, and countless others who settled rather than engage in a lengthy and expensive legal battle are likely coming to an end.

While many may be counting Sessions out, it is a much safer bet to assume that of the CFPB and DACA as we understand them.

Shaun McCutcheon is an electrical engineer and the successful plaintiff in the Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. FEC.

Tags CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deferred action for childhood arrivals Donald Trump Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions PHH Corporation Shaun McCutcheon

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